Jonathan Harker begets the ire of Count Dracula after he accepts a job at the vampire's castle under false pretenses, forcing his colleague Dr. Van Helsing to destroy the predatory villain when he targets Harker's loved ones.
When Castle Dracula is exorcised by the Monsignor, it accidentally brings the Count back from the dead. Dracula follows the Monsignor back to his hometown, preying on the holy man's beautiful niece and her friends.
Three distinguished English gentlemen accidentally resurrect Count Dracula, killing a disciple of his in process. The Count seeks to avenge his dead servant, by making the trio die in the hands of their own children.
A young man, Paul Carlson, is on a trip and spends the night at Count Dracula's castle. He is murdered. After some time has passed, the young man's brother Simon comes to the small town where all the traces end to look for him.
Roy Ward Baker
After Jonathan Harker attacks Dracula at his castle (apparently somewhere in Germany), the vampire travels to a nearby city, where he preys on the family of Harker's fiancée. The only one who may be able to protect them is Dr. van Helsing, Harker's friend and fellow-student of vampires, who is determined to destroy Dracula, whatever the cost.Written by
When Jimmy Sangster was writing the screenplay, he admitted that he hadn't considered making the film a tailor-made vehicle for Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. See more »
When Van Helsing repels Lucy with a crucifix, her reflection is visible in its surface. As a vampire she should cast no reflection. See more »
[narrating his diary]
The Diary of Jonathan Harker... Third of May, 1885. At last, my long journey is drawing to its close. What the eventual end will be, I cannot foresee. But whatever may happen, I can rest secure that I will have done all in my power to achieve success.
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The UK censor took exception to the erotic quality of the film and the key scene when Mina is bitten by Dracula and seen to enjoy the experience was cut and alternative footage substituted. The staking of Lucy had the gore removed. The female vampire biting Harker had the actual bite removed making the scene look as if he pushed her away before being bitten. The final disintegration scene was trimmed with footage of Dracula pulling his face apart removed. This was the version released internationally. The staking cut was found in a US print and restored. The last three reels of a Japanese uncut print were found in shocking condition but with a lot of restoration allowed audiences again to see Mina in ecstasy and Dracula disintegrating in full: these additions are not seamless however and are of a lower quality than the rest of the film. This version was released in the UK in 2012 with a 12 certificate and several years later in the US unrated. See more »
It's difficult to overestimate the significance of Dracula. Far more so than its predecessor, The Curse of Frankenstein, it set the tone for Hammer's movie output over the next two decades - the two decades (1956-1976) when British films, or at least British horror films, were among the best, most admired and most imitated in the world. A far cry from the terribly English whimsy of the Thirties and Forties, or the provincial, "arty" stuff that's predominated since the end of the Eady levy in the 1980s.
With this movie, Hammer not only created an international star out of Christopher Lee, but a worldwide phenomenon that persists, in series such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and films like Sleepy Hollow, to the present day. Taking the Kensington gore quotient of The Curse of Frankenstein, and combining it with an unprecedented dose of eroticised violence, Dracula revolutionised horror, ultimately leading to the breasts and blood exploitation movies of the Seventies, as well as the heavy sexual overtones of films such as Alien and The Company of Wolves.
The movie benefits from two astonishing central performances. Christopher Lee's Dracula is a creation of passionate intensity, to whom Cushing's monomaniacal Van Helsing is the antithesis fire and steel; hot-blooded animal instinct versus cool scientific rationalism. This has led some critics to identify Van Helsing as the real villain of the piece, a brutal fanatic who coldly pounds a stake through the vampirised Lucy. Either way, both actors give supremely effective performances. The final confrontation between the two remains the single most iconic scene in any Hammer film. Hardly surprising, given their on screen charisma, that Lee should reprise his role six times and Cushing four.
The most influential British movie of all time, Dracula's electric mix of sex and death fuelled a global revolution in genre film-making, and presented Hammer with a formula that they would return to again and again over the next two decades.
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